YouTube Launches Paid Channels
Social Media Giant Moves Into Paid TV
YouTube, the social media video sharing service has launched a trial scheme for paid channels on its website that could challenge traditional providers like Sky, BT and Virgin Media. Under the pilot scheme, a small number of content makers will offer the channels for subscriptions starting from £0.64 ($0.99) a month. Starting with a 14-day free trial, channels have the option to sell at discounted annual rates.
Although the initial 50+ channels are fairly niche, YouTube's move might ultimately squeeze some smaller rivals out of the market. YouTube, which is owned by the search engine and PPC advertising giant Google, said the launch was part of an effort to enable "content creators to earn revenue for their creativity". For example, the children's television favourite, Sesame Street will offer full episodes on its paid channel when it launches.
YouTube Advertising And Channels Will Be Hard To Rival
The paid channels involved in the pilot are diverse and subscribers can pay using either their credit cards or through Google's own Wallet service. Channels include National Geographic Kids, Acorn, which provides episodes from several British TV series and Fix My Hog Premium, which is aimed at Harley Davidson enthusiasts.
"This is just the beginning", YouTube said on its social media blog. "We'll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. As new channels appear, we'll be making sure you can discover them."
The Internet and TV have been merging for some time. The advent of paid channels on YouTube means Google joins Amazon, Hulu and Netflix in offering subscription-based alternatives to traditional pay-TV. With Google's infrastructure to advertise, host, stream and take online payments, YouTube will make it much harder for smaller, standalone online subscription-based platforms to compete.
YouTube Advertising Will Be Boosted By Paid Channels
Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65bn. The service is believed to generate a small amount of revenue from Google's PPC advertising platform, but the majority of its content has been free to watch.
To make itself more attractive to potential PPC and traditional advertisers, YouTube has gradually added professional content such as full-length films and TV shows to its huge library of amateur videos. YouTube advertising also advanced into showing full-length adverts before many videos, some that could be skipped after a specified time period and some that were obligatory to watch.
YouTube claims a billion people around the world use the website every month.